With warmer weather and longer days on the horizon, we’re reaching the point of the year when we’re ready to throw open our windows, let some fresh air in, and tidy up for a clean slate. While you might be thinking about dusting those baseboards and polishing your appliances, it’s a good time to turn your sights to your business operations. Busy season is just around the corner and, with the right amount of diligence, you can set yourself up for success in short order.
Perhaps the most effective strategy a business owner could adopt, business templates are intended to save you time and energy by automating small, repetitive tasks that fill up your schedule. In fact, you might already have some templates at your disposal to keep the gears turning, but it’s best to revisit them each year to ensure they are up-to-date. This is especially critical in light of COVID-19, as your policies and procedures may have changed since the last time you were actively producing events.
Let’s look at the three must-have templates for your business.
A potential client questionnaire
There’s nothing worse than walking into a sales meeting completely unprepared—it’s unprofessional and wastes valuable time that could be spent talking about details. To get ahead of this, sending out a potential client questionnaire is a proactive way to gather prospects’ details so you can do a little groundwork ahead of time. It’s as simple as creating a form that collects client names, address, contact information, preferred event dates, and other venues and vendors in consideration. You may also consider asking a few questions about likes and dislikes to give you a head start in preparing your sales pitch.
A new client intake form
Once you’ve closed the sale, you’ll need to gather a lot more information about their event plans and expectations. A comprehensive client intake form allows your clients to provide details on their own time (no lengthy interviews!), while also giving you easy access to their answers throughout the whole planning process.
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Our intake form is built like a day-of timeline, asking questions in order of a typical event. For example, a wedding client will start by sharing their ideas about getting ready (first look vs. down the aisle?) and the ceremony (seating plan?), all the way through to the reception (traditions to include?) and grand exit (preferred vehicle?). This order helps them to visualize their event day and mentally walk through each stage, oftentimes identifying details they hadn’t yet considered.
A contractual agreement
Most event pros already have a reliable template for their contracts, but that’s not to say it doesn’t need to be refined regularly to remain updated to your business policies. Due to COVID-19, you might need to revise your verbiage regarding postponements and cancellations or amend a force majeure clause. As with any legal document, it’s always best to have your contract looked over by an attorney to tie up loose ends and ensure that it’s legally sound.
Once you have these templates in place, you can then simplify your workflows and build consistency and efficiency into your everyday tasks. Automating repetitive to-dos will free up your time to take on more responsibilities in 2021 and, hopefully, see your business grow in profitability for the foreseeable future.